DRIVERS were injured after a three-vehicle smash which closed lanes on the A12 for about five hours, police have said.

Essex Police said it was called to junction 22 of the A12 near Witham on Friday afternoon after a crash involving three vehicles.

A spokesman for the force said: “We were called to junction 22 of the A12 at around 4.45pm on Friday, January 19 following reports of a collision involving three vehicles.

“Those involved sustained minor injuries.

“The road was temporarily closed and re-opened around 9.30pm.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Scene - the A12 near WithamScene - the A12 near Witham (Image: N Chadwick)

National Highways said in a post on the social media platform X that traffic had been stopped on the Colchester-bound carriageway, causing about seven miles of tailbacks on approach to the scene.

Essex Police remained at the scene after one lane re-opened at 6.24pm.

A later update on social media from National Highways warned of further delays into the evening as traffic recovered after both lanes re-opened at about 9.30pm.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service confirmed firefighters were not called to the scene.

Traffic remained busy in the area on Friday night after a separate incident which saw a lorry hit a railway bridge between Witham and Kelvedon, Essex train operator Greater Anglia said.